A friend with a 4 year old and one on the way recently asked me if it was really hard at the beginning. As I began to answer, I realized that I was really downplaying the troubles, and when I first started talking, I even said that it wasn't too hard. Mid sentence, I had waves of memories washing over me, and had to start my answer all over. It was hard. So hard that I am just now coming out of the fog, and feeling like I am begining to have some fun again. So hard that I still cry over the things I said and did in those early days. So hard that I am amazed we are all intact and loving one another. So hard that I still have trouble forgiving myself for not having enough love to go around, or enough patience, or enough time, or enough energy, or enough...anything.
The thing is though, that while I wanted to tell her it would be fine, because it will, I didn't want to gloss over it all. So I did say what was hard for me that I hadn't expected, and what I think I would have done differently if I could go back. I wish I'd had more of that, and I wished I'd listened and understood. I just don't think you can though until you are there. I had a pretty easy time with just one child - really - it was all roses and rainbows. Yeah there were hard moments, but overall, I was a competent mom with a great kid, a fun flexible job, some time for myself, and time with my Honey. Who knew that once we added another bundle in, I'd become so stressed, un-fun, overly emotional, overly protective, and just generally blah? Some people seamlessly glide into having multiple kids. Maybe my friend will be one of them - I sure hope so.
The silver lining here though is that my first response to her was that having a second child was not that hard. I never thought I'd be in a place where all of the difficulty faded enough to allow me to remember the positives first. Well, here I am and thank goodness for that.